NetChoice Concerned By Push for Government Intervention in Barr Confirmation Hearing

Washington, D.C. – Today, NetChoice raised concerns with some Senators’ politically motivated demands to punish the tech industry during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing of William Barr.

 

“Weaponizing antitrust in order to attack online platforms sets a dangerous precedent,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “Conservatives should turn to market-based solutions to solve perceived problems, not seek more intervention from big government.”

 

“Anyone who’s seen the movie “Vice” knows conservatives like Vice President Dick Cheney fought against the so-called fairness doctrine for broadcast TV.  Only after eliminating “equal time” mandates did we see the rise of conservative voices like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh,” continued Szabo.

 

“An internet unhindered by heavy-handed government regulation continues to help conservative voices be heard online. Had the proposals we heard in today’s confirmation hearing been implemented 10 years ago, modern conservative voices like Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens would likely be no more than whispers.”

An antitrust Game of Thrones – The fantasy fight against Google and Facebook

An antitrust Game of Thrones – The fantasy fight against Google and Facebook

Moving to a populist antitrust standard would undermine market-certainty and make the success of businesses contingent on whichever political party controls the White House. Antitrust would no longer be a tool for innovation but instead become a weapon for politicians to cut-down opponents. Moreover, it would serve to only increase the intra-fighting among Western business.

America must avoid such a devolution and Congress must step-up to stop in-fighting, which helps only the lawyers, some old-world competitors, and rival kingdoms seeking to displace America’s innovation leadership.

There’s no question that “Winter is coming.” The question is, are America’s leaders prepared to defend our kingdom?

Wu’s Anti-tech Rant is more Fiction than Fact

Wu’s Anti-tech Rant is more Fiction than Fact

POLITICO – CEOs to White House to talk tech today

POLITICO – CEOs to White House to talk tech today

— The remarks drew swift repudiation from tech industry groups. NetChoice Vice President Carl Szabo said he is “blown away that leaders of the conservative movement want increased government regulation of business and increased government regulation of free speech.” And the libertarian-leaning TechFreedom tweeted that in “suggesting government meddle in a private companies business,” Hawley was taking a stance that “true conservatives are against.”

The Daily Caller: The Misguided 'Hipster Antitrust' Movement to Break Up Amazon, Apple, and Google

Rarely does a day go by without groups decrying economic disparity in America. The rich are too rich, and America’s most successful businesses are too big.

And as you can expect, these groups oppose free-markets seeing heavy-handed government engagement as our only savior. Apparently, these groups have forgotten that it is America’s exceptionalism that led us to become the greatest country on earth.

When it comes to America’s tech businesses, their complaints are the same: Apple is too powerful, Google too large, and Amazon too ubiquitous. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch called these attacks “hipster antitrust.”

Politico Morning Tech - Key Hill staffers to know on tech

Industry rebuttal: “When President Trump says he would regulate online platforms for alleged anti-conservative bias, he really means he would suppress free expression,” NetChoice president Steve DelBianco said in a statement. “Government suppression of negative news and views about the President would blatantly violate the constitution.” And the libertarian TechFreedom group tweeted that “Principled conservatives and liberals should unite against Trump’s attempts to create a Fairness Doctrine for the Internet as a sword for government meddling in social media.”

American Action Forum - Comments On Developing The Administration's Approach To Consumer Privacy

An unwillingness to pay is a common finding and for good reason. Everyone would love to get something for nothing. Trade association NetChoice worked with Zogby Analytics to find that only 16 percent of people are willing to pay for online platform service. Strahilevitz and Kugler found that 65 percent of email users, even though they knew their email service scans emails to serve ads, wouldn’t pay for alternative.

NetChoice Warns Lawmakers: Americans Reject Government in Tech

Washington, D.C. – Today, NetChoice warned President Trump that heavy-handed regulations on tech platforms is out-of-step with his electorate.

“When President Trump says he would regulate online platforms for alleged anti-conservative bias, he really means he would suppress free expression,” said Steve DelBianco, President of NetChoice. “Government suppression of negative news and views about the President would blatantly violate the constitution.”

“Other policy proposals being thrown out by beltway pundits and think tanks are even more unpopular,” continued DelBianco. “Whether it’s competition and antitrust, advertising or parental controls, Americans overwhelmingly oppose government intervention in tech. 90% of Americans don’t think the government should block tech company acquisitions and 95% think the government should not focus on trying to break them up.”

NetChoice’s comments follow statements made by President Trump during a press briefing on the results of yesterday’s Midterm Election.

Learn more about NetChoice’s recent poll at netchoice.org/techlashpoll.

Does the “Consumer Welfare Standard” Still Protect Competition? Opinions from FTC Antitrust Hearings

Removing the consumer welfare standard would risk injecting politics into what should otherwise be impartial decisions. Doing so would seriously degrade the trust Americans have in the impartiality of the FTC and would expose yet another component of our government to political scrutiny.”